my fair lady

the year: 1964

the genre: musical

the cast: Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle); Rex Harrison (Professor Henry Higgins); Stanley Holloway (Alfred P. Doolittle); Wilfrid Hyde-White (Colonel Hugh Pickering); Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Higgins); Jeremy Brett (Freddy Eynsford-Hill)

the plot: A chance meeting between two noted British linguists, Prof. Henry Higgins and Col. Hugh Pickering, leads to a wager that will test Higgins' skills. After they hear a cockney flower girl caterwaul in the street, Higgins proposes to transform the girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a refined Victorian lady with an aristocratic accent. After some hesitation Eliza agrees to become their test case.

don’t miss: Colonel Pickering’s conversation with Scotland Yard. “No, she's no relation, no. What? Well, just let's call her a "good friend", shall we? I beg your pardon! Listen to me, my man, I don't like the tenor of that question - what we do with her is our affair - your affair is bringing her back so we can continue doing it!”

listen for: “My aunt died of influenza … And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it, and what I say is, them as pinched it done her in. Them she lived with would have killed her for a hat pin, let alone a hat...Gin was mother's milk to her. Besides, he'd poured so much down his own throat, he knew the good of it...Drank! My word! Something chronic!”

count: how many Ascot costumes Cecil Beaton designed.

did you know: In the scene where Eliza is practicing her "H's", she sits down in front of a spinning mirror attached to a flame. Every time she says her "H's" correctly, the flame jumps. If you look closely at the paper she is holding in her hand when it catches fire, you will see handwritten upon it the dialog that she and Professor Higgins have been saying previous to this. "Of course, you can't expect her to get it right the first time," is the first line written on the paper.

also listen for: “Well, I'm dashed!”

check out: Alfred P. Doolittle, Esquire.

extra bonus points: if you can name 4 other musicals that featured the music of Lerner & Loewe.


Erika said...

Camelot, Brigadoon,...

Scott said...

I think I remember reading that Audrey Hepburn accepted this role with the understanding that she would do all her own singing and practiced quite a bit accordingly. As far as I can recall she even recorded all the numbers, then at the last minute a studio executive decided to scrap Audrey's recordings and got Marnie Nixon to dub them. Audrey was furious. The fact that she was later criticized for not doing her own singing made it even worse.

Laney said...

It was so dumb that they dubbed only most of the songs. She had a decent voice.

Millie Motts said...


Answer: Camelot, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, and Gigi.

bporter said...

I think the morale to this story is that with a little bit of luck someone else will do the blooming job!